Philippines, Sports, television

NCAA on TV5 Digs an Even Deeper Hole

The NCAA on TV5 received its latest black eye.

Monday saw two eventful matches with contrasting results. In the first game, the Perpetual Altas stunned the San Beda Red Lions 76-75, after which the Red Lions filed a protest claiming that Joel Jolangcob’s three-pointer at the end of the third quarter should have been nullified on the grounds that the Altas committed a prior 24-second shotclock violation.

But it was the second game between the Mapua Cardinals and the EAC Generals that stole the show, for all the wrong reasons.

With 28.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter and EAC leading 86-77, Generals playmaker John Tayongtong punched Mapua guard CJ Isit. Teammate Leo Gabo came into Isit’s defense and shoved Tayongtong, after which the bench-clearing brawl began that eventually stopped the game.

The Mapua-EAC game was shown on both TV5 and AksyonTV. But just as the arena announcer began to make an announcement regarding the player penalties and the official conclusion of the game, TV5 elected to cut the game short in favor of ‘Aksyon Prime’, and in one final measure, the station’s announcers urged viewers to switch to AksyonTV.

This is not the first time that TV5 cut its NCAA coverage short in favor of the news. Over two months ago, the closing minutes of a first-round game between Lyceum and Mapua was abruptly cut in favor of an impromptu speech by President Noynoy Aquino, which essentially kicked off ‘Aksyon Prime’.

Their latest act, while more excusable than the first, is just another way of treating the NCAA like a second-class citizen. Yes, they may be focusing their energies more on the Gilas basketball team of late, but they should have been treating the NCAA equally like their other broadcast properties.

Honestly, TV5 should have finished the airing of the game. The official announcement was seconds away, and yet they decided to do what is infamously known as a ‘Heidi moment’ in television lore, which is unacceptable to viewers.

With still a few more games to go, TV5 needs to learn from these mistakes as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the NCAA will have to find a new partner for next season.

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Philippines, Sports, television

Thoughts on the NCAA All-Star Game

 

Without star foreigners such as San Beda’s Ola Adeogun, the NCAA All-Star Game is definitely not as exciting and as compelling to watch. (Photo credit: NCAA.org.ph)

On its 90th season, the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the Philippines makes its biggest surprise yet.

This Saturday, the NCAA will hold its first-ever All-Star Game, featuring the league’s key players in the seniors basketball tournament. The event, along with the Miss NCAA, Three-Point Shootout and Slam Dunk Contests, will be held at the FilOil Flying V Arena (or San Juan Arena according to Sports5 announcers) beginning at 2:30 p.m. on TV5 and AksyonTV.

Proceeds for the NCAA All-Star Game will go for the benefit of Hospicio de San Jose, the NCAA personnel assistance fund, and the NCAA players in the national team.

Controversy surrounded the NCAA All-Star Game in the days leading up to the event. Upon the release of the rosters for both the East and West teams, only the local players were included, leaving foreign players such as Ola Adeogun, Cedric Noube Happi and Dioncee Holts out of the game. Adeogun even went as far as tweeting that they should hold their own All-Star Game in the Manila Zoo.

Regarding the snub, NCAA Management Committee (ManCom) chairman Paul Supan explained that it was the coaches who were asked to recommend players, and that they should select three from each school to ensure a fair representation. In another interview, Supan and ManCom member Peter Cayco added that the exclusion of foreigners is intended to ensure a more balanced and competitive matchup.

There is a reason why it was called an ‘All-Star Game’: it was designed to attract the most productive, talented and attractive stars in the game, And with the exclusion of star foreigners like Adeogun and Noube Happi, as well as more productive players like Jonathan Grey, there is definitely nothing to excite about the NCAA All-Star Game.

There is also another concern surrounding the All-Star Game: the attendance. There is a reason why the NCAA decided to hold the event at the smaller FilOil Flying V Arena: to avoid a repeat of last March’s poorly-attended NCAA Cheerleading Competition at the Mall of Asia Arena.

But even with a smaller venue, filling it to capacity remains a daunting task to the league, considering the lack of star power. Like last March’s Cheerleading Competition, the lack of promotion by Sports5 is giving the NCAA a lot of trouble, and it will be doubtful if the All-Star Game will be filled to capacity at all.

And finally, as mentioned, only the seniors basketball players were included to participate in the All-Star Game. The NCAA is a collegiate league with a variety of other sports, but with only seniors basketball being represented in this event, what is the point of holding the All-Star Game when only this discipline was emphasized?

Worse, the All-Star Game had nothing to do with the general championship race, so it is expected that it will only be a fun track meet rather than an important date in the schedule.

That said, this NCAA All-Star Game, despite its devotion to a good cause, is just a mere a distraction to a long NCAA basketball season. And unfortunately, this is not worth watching.

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, Sports, television

Lack of Full TV Coverage is Hurting the NCAA

NCAA coverage on television continue to be spotty at best. (Photo credit: GMA News Online)

President Noynoy Aquino’s State of the Nation Address will take place later this afternoon. Unfortunately, it is also a game day in the 90th NCAA season basketball tournament.

The NCAA doubleheader for this Monday afternoon will feature the San Beda-St. Benilde and Mapua-San Sebastian matches for both the juniors and seniors division. The seniors games are usually seen live on television, but due to today’s SONA, tape-delay broadcasts on the TV5 family of networks will be a likely scenario.

Television coverage has always been inconsistent for the Philippines’ oldest collegiate league. During the 1990s, when government TV stations PTV-4 and IBC-13 covered the games, only the opening day and championship matches were aired in full, with highlights of the other games relegated to their newscasts.

It only got worse in 2000, when the championship matches pitting St. Benilde and Jose Rizal College were not aired. Then in 2001, despite the guarantee of PTV-4 and Media Conglomerates, Inc. to air most of the matches, the NCAA tournament was reduced to a mere 30-minute highlight show called ‘Inside NCAA’, with opening day and championship matches being aired live.

In 2002, the NCAA decided to join forces with ABS-CBN Sports, with the league’s games now being featured on a regular basis. But with the UAAP already a fixture on Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports+Action), the NCAA was relegated to a weekday-exclusive schedule, with non-televised games on Mondays. Still, it was a marginal improvement from the PTV-MCI era.

Ten years later, the NCAA signed a deal with Sports5 to cover their games. Initially airing over IBC-13 (via AKTV), the league was forced to return to UHF television via AksyonTV once the AKTV deal expired. In addition, TV5 aired the championship matches, before receiving a select slate of elimination games this year. This time, however, all games were aired on the said network.

Still, circumstances related to national events continued to affect the television coverage of the NCAA. Examples include the funeral of the late Corazon Aquino in 2009, the recent State of the Nation Addresses, and the Janet Lim-Napoles Pork Barrel hearings in 2013, which either led to pre-emptions or delayed broadcasts of the games. And more recently, the impromptu DAP address of President Aquino led to an abrupt end of Sports5’s live NCAA coverage.

In the end, it is clear that the NCAA is at a disadvantage. While television coverage is gradually improving, it is still far from a finished product. What the league needs now at this point is flexibility, from the scheduling to the availability of the venue, in order to take advantage of live television, and to satisfy the demands of loyal fans.

NCAA management should start learning from these experiences. Otherwise, the league will continue to feel its fair share of shortcomings on television coverage.

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drama, entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, Sports, television

PNoy’s Speech and Impact on TV Programming

President Noynoy Aquino’s address on the Disbursement Acceleration Program forced several television stations to halt their scheduled programs. (Photo credit: Bullit Marquez, Associated Press)

President Noynoy Aquino’s impromptu speech in relation to the Disbursement Acceleration Program made a huge impact on television programming.

The near-30 minute speech saw the President defend the controversial bill, which has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Highlights of his speech include his criticism on predecessor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Supreme Court’s declaration, and his enumeration of the DAP’s supposed benefits.

Unfortunately, his lengthy address proved too much for several television stations to handle. Episodes of ABS-CBN’s ‘Pure Love’ and GMA’s ‘My BFF’ were halted just 10 minutes into their running time, and were not resumed. The unfinished episodes of both programs are scheduled to re-air in full later tonight.

Meanwhile, the live NCAA seniors basketball game between Lyceum and Mapua on TV5 and AksyonTV was cut with over 3 minutes left, and was only resumed on the latter following the ‘Aksyon’ newscast.

And over at GMA News TV and ABS-CBN Sports+Action, episodes of ‘MARS’ and ‘Once Upon a Time’ were temporarily put on hold during the televised address, resuming after the end of the broadcast.

While GMA News TV and ABS-CBN Sports+Action’s decision to air the address and delay ongoing programming is excusable, the same cannot be said for their mother networks. Instead of pre-empting their teleseryes in favor of news coverage of the address, GMA and ABS-CBN continued to air them without realizing the consequences. As a result, their decision left viewers puzzled and unsatisfied, since neither program resumed following the address.

For NCAA fans, the feeling is all too familiar. TV5’s decision to cut away from the ongoing NCAA telecast was just another blunder committed by the network since acquiring the rights to the league. The lack of a commercial-free and uninterrupted online livestream service for the game was also a cause of concern.

Events like this should serve as a lesson to programming directors. In an impromptu national event like President Aquino’s address, programming directors should take note of the length of the event and the possible consequences to ongoing programs, so that they can be prepared for any eventuality. If done the right way, viewers will benefit well from the change.

With that in mind, the upcoming State of the Nation Address is just two weeks away. And for major networks, this event should help them restructure their programming  in order to inform viewers of any pre-emptions.

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

TV5 Rebrands Its Newscasts Under the Aksyon Banner

Starting July 14, TV5’s ‘Aksyon’  newscasts will not only be seen in the early evening, but also in the morning, at noontime and during late nights. (Photo credit: News5 Everywhere)

Goodbye ‘Good Morning Ser’, ‘Andar ng mga Balita’, and ‘Pilipinas News’.

As part of its ongoing ‘Signal No. 5: Umuulan ng Saya’ campaign, TV5 has announced that its newscasts will be rebranded under the ‘Aksyon’ banner beginning this July 14. The newscasts are as follows: ‘Aksyon sa Umaga’, ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’, and ‘Aksyon Tonite’. The three newscasts will be joined by the flagship early evening newscast ‘Aksyon’.

As a result of the rebrand,  ‘Good Morning Ser’ (formerly ‘Good Morning Club’), ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ and ‘Pilipinas News’ will bid farewell today after a three-year run. ‘Pilipinas News Weekend’ will then air its final newscast on Sunday, with a replacement yet to be determined.

‘Aksyon sa Umaga’ will retain the services of Martin Andanar and Lourd de Veyra from ‘Good Morning Ser’. In addition, Grace Lee, who previously anchored ‘Aksyon Weekend’ and hosted ‘Good Morning Girls’, will be added as the third anchor. Like its predecessor, it will be a two-hour news and talk-based program.

‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ will be anchored by Raffy Tulfo and Cherie Mercado. The ‘T3: Reload’ and ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ host is no stranger to anchoring a noontime newscast, having anchored ‘Balitaang Tapat’ two years earlier. Meanwhile Cherie Mercado moves from late nights to noontime after anchoring ‘Pilipinas News’ for over two years.

The flagship ‘Aksyon’ newscast will still be anchored by Erwin Tulfo, but his new partner will be no less than News5’s Head of News and Information, Luchi Cruz-Valdes. Luchi’s ‘Reaksyon’ program will no longer be independent from any newscast, but instead it will be incorporated as one of the segments of ‘Aksyon’.

And finally, ‘Aksyon Tonite’ will retain Paolo Bediones from ‘Pilipinas News’, but Cheryl Cosim from ‘Aksyon’ will now serve as his new partner. Like its predecessor, ‘Aksyon Tonite’ will be a 30-minute newscast that will recap the biggest news of the day.

The rebranded ‘Aksyon’ newscasts, along with ‘Aksyon Alert’ and ‘Aksyon Breaking’ news updates, are intended to strengthen and unify TV5’s news department under the ‘One Brand News Program’ approach. But it remains to be seen if the rebrand to ‘Aksyon’ will pay off.

New Timeslot for ‘T3’

‘T3: Reload’ was scheduled to move to a new timeslot this Monday. However, the change of timeslot came a week early.

Last Monday, viewers were surprised to see Raffy and Ben Tulfo host their public service program at noontime. Monday’s edition of ‘T3’ was actually a replay of last Friday’s episode, but it was not until the live Tuesday edition that the Tulfo brothers officially confirmed the show’s new timeslot.

‘T3: Reload”s move to noontime was intended to accommodate the NCAA Season 90 seniors basketball game on TV5, which moved to 4:00 p.m. from 2:00 p.m. the previous week. However, AksyonTV and Radyo5 92.3 News FM did not air the program simultaneously (‘Relasyon’ of Atty. Mel Sta. Maria and Luchi Cruz-Valdes was aired instead), as they were not informed of ‘T3”s premature timeslot change.

However, expect both AksyonTV and Radyo5 to make some changes in their programming lineup this Monday, in order to accommodate ‘T3: Reload’ and ‘Aksyon’ newscasts.

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live events, Philippines, Sports, television

New Schedules for NCAA Season 90 Men’s Basketball on Sports5

The 90th NCAA season kicks off this June 28 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

This Saturday, the NCAA returns for its 90th season with the theme of ‘Today’s Heroes, Tomorrow’s Legends – NCAA @ 90: We Make History’. And in an attempt to shorten their basketball season, a new schedule was implemented.

Back in Season 89, the NCAA endured a longer-than-expected basketball season. The season began on June 22, after which the league took a break in early August due to the FIBA Asia Championships. Then came Typhoons Maring and Odette, which led to some postponed games.

As a result, the Final Four only got underway in November. The unexpected length of the NCAA season proved to be a hindrance for the organizers of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League, whose preliminary round games are usually scheduled in early November.

In response, reporters coined the hashtag #DiPaTaposAngNCAA, which was prophetic given the extended length of the season. It was not until November 16 that the season finally came to an end, as the San Beda Red Lions achieved their fifth straight championship at the expense of the Letran Knights.

Following the conclusion of the season, I wrote an article that would suggest a shorter NCAA season. In that article I discussed about a four-day or five-day a week schedule, the need for other venues besides the FilOil Flying V Arena, and the commitment that TV5 needs in order to make it all happen. As it turned out, I was right about the first suggestion, but then again the league will continue to depend on the San Juan venue for most of its games.

The new schedule will be as follows:

Doubleheaders every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, starting at 2 p.m. The doubleheaders from June 30 to July 4 will start at 12 p.m. due to the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals coverage.

Lone games every Saturday, with the exception of the June 28 openers, starting at 12:30 p.m.

AksyonTV will air all games, while TV5 will air the second weekday games and all Saturday games. Replays will air on HYPER.

This will be the first time since Season 87 that the NCAA will have all of its seniors games in the afternoon. In the past, Sports5 aired NCAA games on primetime, but with TV5 joining in the act, its loaded primetime lineup makes it impossible to employ the same scheme. Thus, the NCAA returns to an old method previously used with ABS-CBN Sports.

This season’s basketball games will be hosted by Jose Rizal University, and will also mark the final probationary season for Emilio Aguinaldo College and Lyceum of the Philippines University. The two schools’ membership will depend on their performance in all sports, and if they pass with flying colors, they will be accepted as regular members in Season 91 and beyond.

Defending champion San Beda is gunning for a sixth straight championship, but nine other schools are threatening to end the streak. This season promises to be very exciting and compelling, as the NCAA makes history.

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